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Glossary


arsenic


Arsenic is a chemical element that has the symbol As and atomic number 33. Its Atomic Mass is 74.92. Its Ionic Charge is (3-). This is a notoriously poisonous metalloid that has many allotropic forms: yellow (molecular non-metallic) and several black and gray forms (metalloids) are a few that are seen. Three metalloidal forms of arsenic with different crystal structures are found free in nature (the minerals arsenic sensu strictu and the much rarer arsenolamprite and pararsenolamprite), but it is more commonly found as arsenide and arsenate compounds. Several hundred such mineral species are known. Arsenic and its compounds are used as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and various alloys.

The most common oxidation states for arsenic are -3 (arsenides: usually alloy-like intermetallic compounds), +3 (arsenates(III) or arsenites, and most organoarsenic compounds), and +5 (arsenates(V): the most stable inorganic arsenic oxycompounds). Arsenic also bonds readily to itself, forming, for instance, As-As pairs in the red sulfide realgar and square As43- ions in the arsenide skutterudite. In the +3 oxidation state, the stereochemistry of arsenic is affected by possession of a lone pair of electrons.


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